FBFF: Thinspo

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For Fashion Beauty Friend Friday, Katy Rose decided to have a look at a trend on Pinterest: thinspiration boards (thinspo for short). Some of these boards are fitness related, but obviously others aren’t.  She mentioned she would love to read everyone’s thoughts on these boards.

In college, I was a Women’s Studies minor, so topics like these are ones are my bread and butter! I could probably write a series of posts all about the problematic ways our society’s culture harms women (this being just one of them).  So here it goes:

Obviously, I am into fitness. I mean, last friday I wrote a post about how I changed my life through exercise just this year. I think fitness is important and that everyone should be getting regular exercise and eating healthy.

However, I do not think the aim of fitness should be becoming supermodel skinny. The bodies we see in magazines and on tv are not attainable by the majority of the population. I think it is something like only 2% of the people in the world can achieve that body. Genetics play a large part in how our bodies look–you cannot change your bone structure no matter how much you exercise.

Unfortunately, our culture strongly equates beauty with thinness. “You’d be so pretty if you just dropped a bit of weight” is something people have said to my friends, family, etc. This is engrained in us from a very young age– look at cartoons and Disney movies! The villain is oftentimes fat (check this nice comprehensive list). Of course Disney also has a whole host of other problems, but they do reflect our culture’s views.  Not only is it visible in cartoons, but also in Hollywood. The leading lady in almost every Hollywood movie is thin (and white and young), whereas men do not have the same requirements.

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Then there is the other end of the spectrum–where people point at a curvy actress or model and start to throw around words like “Curvy is so much prettier/better than the skinny!” Aside from the obviously problematic way that this involves shaming women who are skinny naturally, the truth is that oftentimes those super curvy bodies are just as unattainable. Most of the times the plus size images we see are woman who still have the basic hourglass shape. Two of the most popular plus sizes I’ve seen thrown about tend to be Christina Hendricks and Crystal Renn (Marilyn Monroe is another popular one)–obviously they are both beautiful curvy women but they do fit our societal standards of beauty. They both hold their weight in areas that tend to be desired (chest, butt) as opposed to areas (arms, stomach, etc) that tend to be viewed as bad by our society. All of the above listed women also have the desired hourglass shape.

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 Then there are ads like the one shown above. Ads that promote unhealthy foods while showing skinny women eating them. You’ve probably seen or heard people say things like “I hate it when girls order a salad, I want a girl that eats a burger” or something similar. Women who watch their weight are looked down upon. In our culture, we aren’t supposed to watch what we eat. We are supposed to be skinny without trying. 

Now, back to the main topic at hand: thinspiration boards.  These boards are holding up the body ideal that has been pushed onto women from our society and culture. Fitness is an admirable goal, however you cannot compare your body with someone else’s body. Different weights, heights, bone structures all mean that it is likely that your body will not look like that person’s. I do think there is a difference between pinning a set of six pack abs as inspirational as opposed to a dangerously skinny or anorexic person. I think there is a fine line between something that is inspiring and something that is damaging–and I’m not going to be the person to draw that line, because only the person with a thinspiration board will be able to say whether or not it is damaging to their psyche.

However, some additional information: thinspiration communities often house a lot of pro-anorexia thoughts (hopefully I don’t need to say just how dangerous and sad that is). Anorexia and thinspiration frequently do go hand in hand, which is another thing I find particularly worrisome with the thinspiration trend.

Chatty Kathy: Some Days Are Just PJ Days

No new outfit post this morning, sadly. I managed to sleep for over 12 hours yesterday, so I woke up at 2 PM! At that point, I simply figured why bother getting dressed? And thus, I spend the whole day in pajamas. I’m not gonna lie, it was wonderful.

Instead I’ll show you some of my haul from the shopping weekend, and a couple of links. Regular outfits will resume tomorrow.

Christine really wanted to head into Bath and Bodyworks while we were in the mall, and I got these two things. This little chick handsoap was too adorable to leave behind, and that massage was definitely a worthwhile purchase. I’ve already used it 5+ times and it was only $4.50! My Mom realized later that she should have bought one too.

Ordered this makeup palette of 88 eyeshadows off of HauteLook.com awhile back and it just got here. Super excited to use all the wonderful bright colors. The pots themselves are really small, but it’s not like I ever use all my larger ones. I also got a nice set of 13 makeup brushes in the sale. So excited to use them.

Things Worth Reading…

–Young, Fat, & Fabulous talks about not letting your fashion choices be dictated by your size and shape.

–Lolita by Nabokov, if you haven’t read it. It’s my favorite book, and I highly recommend it. The language is to die for.

–There’s been a lot of response to Julie Klausner’s post on Tumbler, but I loved Kaelah Bee’s (from Little Chief Honeybee) take on it. Kaelah Bee is amazing, if you’re not following her you should be.

–Sal from Already Pretty did a post on body hair.

–The Daily Mail’s post on the fashion industry and racism. (via College Fashion).

–Wish I could take this job opportunity. If only I lived in NYC. (via Gala Darling).

–These two posts on being beautiful in the blogging world, and body pressure in the blogosphere (you can also read Part 2 here). These are must reads for anyone blogging on style and fashion. If you read nothing else, read these!

(Uh oh, beginning a tangent…)

What got me started blogging was Kaelah Bee of Little Chief Honeybee mostly because I hadn’t seen other girls blogging who were curvy, or short, or… different from a fashion model. And, obviously, I’m curvy and short and clothes often don’t fit me right (see length of pants, or button up shirts). I try to feature a variety of girls in my sidebar–girls who are tall, thin, short, curvy, etc because that is what inspired me to start blogging–a girl who looked like me.  Every single blog listed on my sidebar is there because I love their blog, and I read it daily/every other day.

(Tangent continuing….)

In the same thread of thought, I would love for my little sister, Christine, to start her own style blog. I’m always super jealous of her outfits, and she’s honestly one of the most beautiful girls I’ve ever run across.

See here:

That day she was also wearing a camel colored coat over her outfit, and she seriously looked the definition of luxury. However, I would bet that that outfit probably cost around $50. Maybe. Who wouldn’t want to follow a blog done by her?

When she was younger, people used to be really nasty and rude to her about her weight and it made me so furious because she’s the sweetest girl. When I was in college she always sent me cards on Valentine’s Day, Halloween, or just for no reason, and it makes me so angry to think of anyone hurting her feelings. And then I think, should she start a style blog? What if she gets nasty comments from others? I wouldn’t want her to experience that. But, on the other hand, I’m sure others on the internet would definitely appreciate her unique style and I bet she could share some great shopping tips. It’s hard to say what course of action anyone should take, of course, and I don’t know what the right course of action is (in fact, I more often than not take the wrong course).

Anyway, enough Chatty Kathy. I’ll resume 30×30 tomorrow morning.